KALKFELD – The Minister of Lands and Resettlement, Alfeus Naruseb last Friday made an impassioned appeal to commercial farmers, particularly those in the Kalkfeld area to sell part of their land to government.
Speaking at a meeting with commercial and communal farmers to discuss land matters, Naruseb said commercial farmers specifically in (Omurambauandjou) Kalkfeld should come up with a plan to sell part of their vast swathes of land so that government can offer it to landless residents of Kalkfeld in an effort to help them support themselves. Naruseb was responding to an appeal by a fellow Member of Parliament, Alexia Manombe-Ncube who hails from the village. “I am expecting commercial farmers to call me next week to say minister I got 10 000 hectares and offering 3000 to the residents of Kalkfeld. Do you want to buy it? I will tell you ‘yes I want it,” he said. “I will leave my phone number with the my director in the region, please get the number and call me if you are prepared to sell,” he said, asking commercial farmers how they feel when they see livestock from Kalkfeld roaming in the corridors next to national roads looking for grazing and water. “The ministry aims to buy 280 000 hectares of land every year. The ministry has now opened an avenue, where commercial farmers can negotiate the price they offer for their land. This is done in a transparent manner, and allows the farmer to withdraw from the sales transaction when he or she is not satisfied with the price,” he explained.
“Make it easier for the government, sell land you are not using to government,” he pleaded and reiterated that dealings with farmers will take place on the basis of the willing buyer, willing seller principle. Naruseb said the current policies on land have been praised by countries such as Zimbabwe and South Africa. “I receive calls from government officials in Zimbabwe saying that if they could turn back the clock they would do things the Namibian way,” he said. “The government is not going to take away land from you therefore please avail land to the government,” he appealed to commercial farmers. Naruseb also urged residents of Kalkveld to be patient and to wait for opportunities to come their way. “In terms of the legal enabling legal frame work and policy frame work , the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement has the responsibility to buy land to resettle landless Namibians and you are included,” he said. Naruseb said it is the responsibility of individuals to find out what farms the government has advertised and to fill in application forms for resettlement.
By Kuzeeko Tjitemisa